PORT 101 : Notes on Port Back to Booze Reviews
Port wine (also known as Vinho do Porto, Oporto, Porto, and often simply Port) is a Portuguese fortified wine from the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. It is typically a sweet red wine, but also comes in dry, semi-dry and white varieties.
Port is typically served as an after dinner drink. A visit to the liquor store at 39th & Cambie shows you the wide variety of Ports available….quite daunting to the novice: ruby, crusted, late bottled vintage, young tawny, aged tawny, Colheita, vintage character, vintage, single qunita, and white port.
To help simplify –
It is after this stage that the producer will follow his/her own style – how long they want it aged in barrels, or tanks for example. Barrel aged are the Tawny Ports, and the Colheita. Bottled aged are the Ruby, Crusted, Vintage and LBV.
Young Tawny Port
Aged Tawny Port
Vintage Character Port
Late Bottled Vintage Port (LBV)
Storing & Serving
According to Wikipedia, Port, like other wine, should be stored in a cool but not cold, dark location (as light can damage the port), with a steady temperature (such as a cellar), lying the bottle on its side if the bottle has a cork, or standing up if stoppered. With the exception of white port, which can be served chilled, port should be served at between 15 to 20 degrees Celsius.
Once opened, port wines must be consumed within a short period of time. Those with stoppers can be kept for a couple of months in a dark place, but if it has a cork it must be consumed sooner. Typically, the older the vintage, the quicker it must be consumed.
Aged Tawny Ports will last for weeks after opening, as much of the oxidation has already occurred in the barrels.
Once a vintage Port has been opened, it is recommended to consume within 3-4 days (Wikipedia) or two weeks (BCLDB).
Sources: Wikipedia, BCLDB